In This Place: Stories from the News Archives by Trish Adams

In This Place: February 4, 2015

Mid-Winter Whimsies & Wonder

These paeans to the Groundhog need no explanation, although one thing I did learn this week is that February 2 on the religious calendar is Candlemas Day, marking the mid-point of winter, when traditionally farmers and families would take stock and hope that they still had half of their fuel and food to see out the last weeks of winter. By this time, almost everyone can find a complaint about the weather — either too much winter or not enough — except of course Clarke Sanford, who found something magical even in the dead of winter.
From the issue of January 31, 1936From the issue of January 31, 1936


In This Place: January 28, 2015

Risky Business

As we all work ourselves into a football frenzy, I thought we could take a look back at the serious dangers the game posed especially to high school players. One would say “back in the day” but as it turns out there were at least three high school football fatalities just last year. Our mountain villages did not maintain football teams for most of their histories — often the game was only play­ed as an intramural sport, and even then serious injuries were known to happen.


In This Place: January 21, 2015

The Other Side of the Mountain

Since we focused last week on Belleayre exclusively, I thought it would be fun this week to look back at our other local ski slopes and their beginnings. Not all of them are still with us, but all played a vital role in providing excellent skiing, often helping to alleviate overcrowding at the larger ski centers.


In This Place: January 14, 2015

From January 27, 1950. The opening paragraph read: “The dedication and official opening of the Belleayre Mountain ski slope Saturday afternoon was the greatest day the Cats­kills have known since the Ulster & Delaware railroad ran its first train to Pine Hill nearly a century ago.”From January 27, 1950. The opening paragraph read: “The dedication and official opening of the Belleayre Mountain ski slope Saturday afternoon was the greatest day the Cats­kills have known since the Ulster & Delaware railroad ran its first train to Pine Hill nearly a century ago.”
First Tracks

I knew I wanted this week’s column to be about the early days of Belleayre and possibly ski patrol but then I stumbled on the Woodward and Bernstein of ski report­ing: Frank Elkins. Although a Long Islander, Elkins spent plenty of ink promoting skiing in our area. So I leave a large part of this column to his portrait of the new ski area just as it was entering the 60s.


In This Place: January 7, 2015

Happy New Year — Some “Firsts” on the “Fives”

This first column of the year is dedicated to beginnings and fresh starts. I scouted for happy news in the first issues of years ending in five, although 1925 was missing, and I felt it was inappropriate to cheat on that year.
Let’s start with an old-fashioned skimelton in Roxbury. Some of the type in this item was cut off, so I don’t know if the “skimeltoners” were young men or young people of both genders. Too bad none of them is still here to ask!


In This Place: Dec. 31, 2014

Going, Going, Gone
This ad, and the one below, both come from the Dec. 29, 1944 edition, when the war in Europe had been won but Allies still fought the Japanese in the Pacific.This ad, and the one below, both come from the Dec. 29, 1944 edition, when the war in Europe had been won but Allies still fought the Japanese in the Pacific.


In This Place: Dec. 24, 2014

Here Comes Santa Claus
From December 23, 1938From December 23, 1938


In This Place: December 10, 2014

The Christmas Sacrifice

December 1941 turned from Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls to war bonds and sending young men to the front in one fell swoop (literally) when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7. It is still amazing how quickly the country mobilized, in every possible way. Less than a week after the US declared war on Japan and Germany, in the issue of December 12, 1941, you could already read about everything from quelling rumors to how to prepare for a blackout.
From the December 25, 1941 editionFrom the December 25, 1941 edition


In This Place: December 3, 2014

Curing What Ails You

In honor of World AIDS Day (December 1), I thought we would look back at other epidemics and how people faced them decades ago. I figured the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918 — probably the most deadly in recorded history — would afford me an entire column; however, it seems that flu was never as rampant in our mountain towns as it was in the cities, and most of the News coverage was simply an attempt to keep people calm.
Another disease which struck terror especially in the hearts of mothers, was infantile paralysis, or polio, which mostly hit infants and small children but could afflict adults too. Here too, it seems the dread illness was not rampant here, although its effect on the nation as a whole was widely recognized and feared.
GETTING READY FOR THE BIGGEST BIRTHDAY PARTY IN AMERICAN HISTORY
Every community in the nation will honor President Roosevelt when he becomes 52 years old on Tuesday, Jan. 30 by giving a local ball to help endow an extension of the nation-wide work of the Warm Springs Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in which the President is so deeply interested. Upper left, the President and his mother. Mrs. James A. Roosevelt, who bought the first box sold for the New York ball in the Waldorf-Astoria, upper center. Colonel Henry L. Doherty, chairman of the committee of leaders arranging the observance of the President's anniversary; upper right, the official poster contributed to the movement by the famous artist, Howard Chandler Christy; lower picture, child patients at Warm Springs sharpening up knives and appetites for the largest observance of the President's birthday ever held at that health center. Tha cake, weighing 344 pounds and said to be the larger; birthday cake ever made, was presented to the children for their party by Chairman Doherty.  From the Jan. 26, 1934 editionGETTING READY FOR THE BIGGEST BIRTHDAY PARTY IN AMERICAN HISTORY
Every community in the nation will honor President Roosevelt when he becomes 52 years old on Tuesday, Jan. 30 by giving a local ball to help endow an extension of the nation-wide work of the Warm Springs Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in which the President is so deeply interested. Upper left, the President and his mother. Mrs. James A. Roosevelt, who bought the first box sold for the New York ball in the Waldorf-Astoria, upper center. Colonel Henry L. Doherty, chairman of the committee of leaders arranging the observance of the President's anniversary; upper right, the official poster contributed to the movement by the famous artist, Howard Chandler Christy; lower picture, child patients at Warm Springs sharpening up knives and appetites for the largest observance of the President's birthday ever held at that health center. Tha cake, weighing 344 pounds and said to be the larger; birthday cake ever made, was presented to the children for their party by Chairman Doherty. From the Jan. 26, 1934 edition


In This Place: Nov. 26, 2014

Gobble, Gobble

This Thanksgiving column is so stuffed it leaves little room for commentary! Here’s some sticker shock from the first post-WWI Thanksgiving:

November 29, 1918 — Dear Turkey
Thanksgiving Dinner Costs $1 More This Year Than Last—$3 More Than in 1913.
Thanksgiving dinner for five persons, with an eight pound turkey, cost $1 more this year than it did last and $2.92 more than in 1913. These figures were complied by the Federal Food board and are based on what it considers “fair prices.”


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